Sep. 7th, 2016

akienm: (Default)
2016 09 07
I remember...

I remember when I finally figured out that pragmatism gave me an edge.

I had been told who I should be when I was a kid. Sometimes directly, sometimes very indirectly... In words, in media, everywhere. I learned that I was supposed to be a stable husband, I learned that I was supposed to always be productive, I was supposed to be honest, I was supposed to be smart, thoughtful, giving, strong, creative, i was supposed to be able to sing love songs to my partner, I was supposed to be able to figure out how to fix *anything*...

And I really have been those things sometimes. But it's also the case that the *requirement* to be those things made it harder to see when I wasn't being those. I couldn't easily own that I wasn't living up to those ideals. And the *habit* of hiding from those shortfalls made it hard to change them. If I was upset about not meeting those ideals, then all the jumping up and down which all that upset caused might make me feel like I would make a change, but mostly history wouldn't bear it out.

I learned that change comes from being able to accept where I am. With enough compassion that I can have the mental equilibrium to compassionately notice the failure, rehearse the new behavior, and pat myself on the head for doing the things required to build a new habit.

Being pragmatic, being willing to be connected to what is, made me more powerful to change was is to what I would like it to be.

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Akien MacIain

January 2017

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